01 | Home for Disabled Person

1.1 General considerations

The degree to which an existing dwelling will need to be adapted to allow a person to live well and independently will vary considerably, as will the degree to which a new dwelling will need to be purpose designed to meet a person’s needs. When deciding on the most suitable accommodation for a person with a disability the personal preferences and physical requirements of the individual should be fully considered. An assessment by an occupational therapist may also be required to ascertain the degree to which an existing or new dwelling will need to be adapted or modified to suit an individual’s requirements.


Does the person’s existing home meet their needs?
Would minor alterations enable them to continue to live in their existing home?
Would an adaptation or extension to a person’s existing home help them to live independently?
If a person moves to a new home will it suit their needs?
Will a new home require minor alterations to meet a person’s needs?
Does the person require a new purpose designed home to enable them to live independently?
Is there a need for an assessment by an occupational therapist, to ascertain the degree to which an existing or new dwelling will need to be adapted or modified to suit an individual’s requirements?

Because a person has a disability it does not necessarily mean that the home they are living in cannot meet their needs or that they need to move into a home that has been designed specifically for a person with a disability. For some people with disabilities their existing home adequately meets their needs, for others, minor, well considered, modifications, undertaken in consultation with the occupant, may be all that is required to significantly improve their quality of life and to allow that person to live independently within their existing, or in a new, home.

For others, adaptations or extensions will be required to, for example, provide wheelchair access throughout the ground floor by widening doors and/or hallways, or to add a ground floor level access shower room or larger bedroom. In some cases, depending on the type of property the person lives in and the nature of their disability, a person may need to move to more suitable accommodation, which may or may not have been designed to suit a person with a disability or that may need to be adapted to suit their needs.

When a person experiences a disability, it can be temporary (such as breaking a leg or following a hip replacement) or it can be permanent. The disability may or may not be progressive. Disabilities can be present at any age; however, the incidence of disability increases with age when mobility and function can often naturally change and sometimes dis-improve.
When choosing the most suitable and cost-effective housing option, long term, as well as short term, requirements should be considered.